​AGEC student spends a semester abroad in Australia

Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

Jackson Sills (Sophomore; Commodity Marketing; Poneto, IN) is currently living in Camperdown, Sydney, Australia, studying at the University of Sydney. He is staying in a residential college called St. Paul, and he said this offers him a stronger community within the university. At the University of Sydney, Jackson is studying an array classes, which will cover his humanities and social sciences requirements. These classes are primarily focused of Australian and American Culture. 

Jackson usually starts off his days by getting breakfast at his college and then attending classes or studying before he comes back for lunch. After lunch, he typically works out, hangs out with friends, and attends activities within the college and university. His evenings include grabbing food at the college or one of the amazing restaurants around Sydney. Afterward, he might experience Sydney’s fantastic nightlife, engage in political discussions with mates, or even attend chapel service. His weekdays are full although they are not exactly a reflection of the exciting experiences on the weekends. Between traveling and the local attractions, Jackson thinks he could type a four-page essay on his weekends there. 

Jackson said that the most interesting they he has learned on his study abroad experience so far has been that he has simply gained an incredibly unique perspective on the world around him. He sees his country, friends, and the things he believes to be most important differently now. “The best thing that studying abroad offers you is taking you out of your comfort zone and challenging you to look at things differently.”

During his mid-semester break, Jackson had the opportunity to camp in the Blue Mountains for three days and then take an eight-day trip in the outback with a few friends. Although these were probably his two favorite trips, his most memorable experience was when he drove off the coast of Far North Queensland in the Great Barrier Reef. “The marine life there is simply amazing, and I was so fortunate to be able to see it.” His mom was also visiting at the time and he loved sharing that time with her. 

“I have loved my study abroad experience and could not encourage anyone to study abroad enough. However, the most important part for me and what has benefitted me the most was the community in which I have found.” Jackson’s residential college has provided him with an amazing community and he is so thankful to have been a part of it. He said that every university has a community, it’s important to find a community and embrace that culture. This semester study abroad opportunity has provided him with just that. 

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